Dear Readers: You are made of stone and dead cockroaches if this story doesn't make you well up a bit. 7-year-old Detroit native Alexis Goggins is this holiday season's lil'est hero. Just as her mother, Seliethia Parker, was about to get shot by her estranged boyfriend, Alexis jumped in front and said, "Don't hurt my mother!" Unfortunately Alexis's pleas went unheard, and the shooter, Calvin Tillie, sent six bullets into the girl (One hit Alexis in her right eye, and two slugs also hit her mother.) Alexis, who had a stroke as a baby and also suffers from seizures, is still in critical condition at the Children's Hospital of Michigan. She's regained consciousness enough to squeeze her mother's hand, but lost her right eye and the rest of her face (she was also shot in the chin and jaw) is still swollen.

In Alexis's special-ed class, her teacher, Angela Lang, has put a stuffed animal dubbed "hero" in Alexis's chair. "We didn't want Alexis' spot to be vacant, so she's got a sweet bear to sit in her place until she comes back," Lang told the Associated Press. Want to help? Click here to give money to the Children's Hospital of Michigan in Goggins's name, or send cards or contributions via snail mail to:

Alexis Goggins Hero Fund
c/o Comerica Bank
Campbell Elementary School
2301 E. Alexandrine
Detroit, MI 48207
Girl who shielded mom is a hero to special ed class [CNN]